In past years, I have gotten several calls from concerned individuals who encountered dead or sick animals on their property. One instance involved a case of EHD and several deer dead alongside of a small stream. Back then, I would refer the individuals to their local conservation officer or their district biologist. But, now there is a new avenue for reporting as the Indiana DNR has launched a new website for the public to report sick or dead wildlife.

The new online tool is designed to collect information about Indiana wildlife appearing to be sick or having died without an apparent cause. Reports are added to an active database helping the DNR track wildlife health over time and detect disease outbreaks.

The form may be found online at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife.

Individuals are encouraged to report fish or wildlife displaying odd behavior or signs of disease. The information gathered from the website allows biologists to monitor diseases affecting fish or wildlife in the state, including epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), avian cholera, and white-nose syndrome, among others. A biologist may contact the reporter if a sample for disease testing is needed.

The DNR is especially interested in:

  • Incidents involving the death of five or more animals.
  • Recurring deaths of animals in the same location over a period of time.
  • Deer with signs indicating chronic wasting disease (CWD) such as emaciation, staggering or standing with poor posture, salivating excessively, or carrying their heads and ears lower than normal. More information about CWD may be found at IN.gov/cwd.
  • Deer with signs indicating EHD such as death in or near water, loss of appetite and wariness, swelling around the head and neck, increased respiration rate, excessive salivation, rosy or bluish color of mouth and tongue. Learn more about EHD at IN.gov/8541.htm.
  • Incidents involving threatened or endangered species, regardless of the cause of death or the number of animals involved.

“Indiana DNR is excited to offer this reporting tool to Hoosiers,” Mitch Marcus, DNR fish and wildlife health supervisor, said. “This online system of reporting sick or dead wild animals will be critical for early detection of fish or wildlife health concerns.”

Discovery Trail in Clarksville

On Sept. 3, Governor Holcomb joined members of the Clarksville Town Council and Redevelopment Commission to officially open the newly completed Discovery Trail. The 1.9-mile asphalt multi-use trail was built with help from an $840,000 Next Level Trails grant.

“I’m so glad I could join you here in Clarksville, Indiana’s oldest town, to celebrate our state’s newest trail. The Discovery Trail accomplishes the key goal of our Next Level Trails program by connecting Clarksville’s residential core to schools, parks, employers, and neighboring communities via the Ohio River Greenway. The opportunity to get outside and exercise with friends and family has never been more important, especially as more Hoosiers are taking advantage of our growing statewide network of trails.”

The new trail is built on a former railroad corridor, acquired from CSX by the town in 2018. The project extends through Clarksville from Applegate Lane southwest to Silver Creek, where the trail merges with the Ohio River Greenway creating uninterrupted trail connections to New Albany, Jeffersonville, and Louisville. As part of the project, a new trailhead and crossing signal were installed at Eastern Boulevard.

“Completing this trail puts the majority of Clarksville residents within two miles of a trail,” Ryan Ramsey, Clarksville Town Council President, said. “Trails are an important investment in our quality of life, and we are grateful to the many partners who helped make this project a reality.”

The trail was developed by the Town of Clarksville in cooperation with the Clarksville Redevelopment Commission and Clarksville Parks and Recreation. Key partners in the project include SoIN Tourism, Duke Energy and Silver Creek Sand and Gravel. The total investment for the project, including Next Level Trails funding, was more than $2,373,000.

The Discovery Trail is one of 17 Next Level Trails grants awarded to communities and non-profit organizations in May 2019. The nearly $25 million investment announced by Gov. Holcomb, the largest infusion of state trails funding in Indiana history, will develop a total of 42 miles of new trail across Indiana in the coming years. As part of Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level Connections initiative, the Next Level Trails program makes critical trail connections within and between communities. Next Level Trails is administered by the Department of Natural Resources.

This is the third Next Level Trails project opened to the public this year. The Veterans Memorial Parkway Trail was dedicated in Hebron on June 6, and the Syracuse-Wawasee Park Foundation celebrated the completion of the Conklin Bay Boardwalk and Trail on July 30.

A map of the project may be found at https://www.in.gov/dnr/news/or-discovery-trail-map.pdf.

More information about the Next Level Trails program may be found at on.IN.gov/NextLevelTrails.

Changes To Online License Portal Login

Signing in to buy hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses looks a little different now. A new state online portal called Access Indiana allows citizens to interact with multiple facets of state government through a single login has launched.

Presently, there are 18 services users can enter through Access Indiana. Individuals with an existing online license account should have received an email with information regarding Access Indiana. New DNR customers will be directed to create an Access Indiana account before supplying additional DNR-specific account information. New customers will then be able to complete their DNR profile and purchase a license. If you haven’t already purchased your hunting license for this fall, we recommend creating your Access Indiana account today.

Find instructions for getting started online. For additional assistance with usernames or passwords, call 800-457-8283 for Access Indiana customer support. More information about the Access Indiana portal, answers to FAQs, and other helpful information is available online. DNR is unable to assist with usernames and passwords.

You don’t need to log in to an account to check in game, apply for a reserved hunt, or get your HIP registration number for this fall – you only need your date of birth and Customer ID number. You can find the appropriate links at https://secure.in.gov/apps/dnr/portal/home.

‘till next time,

Jack

Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or e-mail at jackspaulding@hughes.net.

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